Nepal royal priest harassed at Puri temple,woman cop suspended

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Puri, July 24: Barely three days after an assault on Italy born Odissi dancer Ileana Citaristi on the chariot of Lord Jagannath, the Nepal's royal priest (rajguru) Madhav Prasad Bhattarai also faced harassment at the hands of a lady police person at the 12th century shrine.

The incident took place last evening when Bhattarai, a guest of Puri Sankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati, visited Sri Mandir through southern gates of the shrine after he underwent mandatory security checks at the main entrance.

Rath Yatra

However, according to an FIR lodged by Bhattarai, a lady constable stopped them on the midway within the temple premises and raised suspicion about the royal priest's religion.

"Though we told her that I was a Hindu, she did not listen. However, she allowed us to go after some senior priests intervened," Bhattarai said in the FIR.

Bhattarai who was upset over the development, however, had darshan of the deity accompanied by royal family's temple priest Sunil Pujapanda. When the matter came to the knowledge of the Shankaracharya, he called up the Puri SP and demanded immediate action against the erring police woman. "We have placed the woman constable under suspension on the basis of the complaint," Puri SP Anup Kumar Sahoo said.

The erstwhile Nepal royal family enjoy special privilege at Jagannath Temple since generations. The Nepal King can perform puja on altar on which the trinity (Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra) are seated.

PTI

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